Monday, November 21, 2011

[Sunlight] Union with you is the source of happiness -- Ghazal 2756


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 2756, from Rumi's "Diwan-e Shams",
in a version by Coleman Barks, and in the translation by A.J.
Arberry, upon which Barks based his version:


Only union with you gives joy.
The rest is tearing down one building
to put up another.
But don't break
with forms!

Boats cannot move without water.
We are misquoted texts
made right when you say us.

We are sheep in a tightening wolf-circle:
You come like a shepherd and ask,
"So how are you?"
I start crying.

This means something to anyone in a body,
but what means something to you?

You can't be spoken, though you listen
to all sound. You can't be written,
but you read everything.

You don't sleep, yet you're the source of dream-vision.

Your ship glides over nothing,
deep silence, praise for the ONE,
who told Moses on Sinai,

You Shall Not See Me

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"We Are Three,"
Maypop, 1987


Union with you is the source of happiness, for those are
but forms and this is reality.
Break not for a moment from your servant, for a ship
cannot sail without water.
I am a faulty Qur'an but am made correct when you recite.
A Joseph alone, and a hundred wolves, yet he escapes
when you are shepherd.
Every time you ask me, "How are you?" I am with tears
and pale cheeks.
For the vulgar these two are tokens; what are signs to
you who are without signs?
Unspoken you hear the discourse, unwritten you read the
Without sleep you show visions, without water you
drive on the ships.
Silence, have done with praises and petition, for from
the unseen has come "thou shall not see me".*

-- Translation by A.J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 2"
The University of Chicago Press, 1979/1991

*When Moses asked to see God on the Mount, the answer was, "You will
never see me." Qur'an 7:143.




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